World Bulletin / News Desk
MONROVIA (AA) - The Liberian government has banned the import of motorcycles, in the wake of growing violence by motorcycle gangs, and intends to extend the ban for as long as necessary, a Commerce Ministry spokesman told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.
“The level of violence and mob justice by motorcyclists has reached a point where there is a need to impose a moratorium on the importation of motorbikes,” a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.
On Sept. 30, motorcycle gangs rioted in Ganta City a town in Nimba County of northern Liberia. The gangs burned down buldings, including a major hotel.
The moratorium will remain in force as long as the government feels it is necessary, the spokesman said.
But motorcycle users and importers are outraged by the extension of the ban.
The Motorcycle Transport Union’s Secretary General Robert Sammie told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday that the ban “showed insensitivity to the plight of ordinary people.”
“This moratorium does not take into consideration the constraints this will place on employment: Over 50,000 working motorcyclists are self-employed thanks to their bikes,” Sammie said.
Sammie said that the ban is unlawful, and that the union will take action against it. He vowed to write the Office of the President before 2016, with a formal protest. The protest will be taken international organizations and the United Nations if there is no redress from the Office of the president, he insisted.
Motorcycle importers also protested against the ban.
Saah Johnson, owner of Masarco Unto Service, one of the largest importers of motorcycles with branches in 13 of the country’s 15 counties told Anadolu on Tuesday that he will be obliged to lay off employees if the government does not reverse the ban.
“The government is not only hurting commercial bike riders in the name of regulation, but also the importers. And the government is doing harm, because if my income drops, I will need to downsize staff, and I will pay reduced taxes,” Johnson said.
Liberia imports 3,850 motorbikes each year, according to the motorcyclists' union.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Aralık 2015, 11:46